Biorepository: Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

Institution Information

Index Herbariorum Record: 
Status of Institution: 
Additional Institution Names: 
Shell Museum and Educational Foundation, Inc.
Description of Institution: 

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a museum devoted to every aspect of seashells, conchology, and malacology, including the paleontological and archeological/anthropological aspects of the study of shells. The museum is located in the city of Sanibel on Sanibel Island on the Gulf of Mexico coast of Southwest Florida.[1] The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum opened to the public in 1995, and operates as an information and reference center for national and international scientists, students, and shell enthusiasts, particularly those who are interested in the marine, terrestrial, and freshwater mollusks of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida. The Museum, which is a facility of the Shell Museum and Educational Foundation, Inc., received its first accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in March 2010.
In addition to its 40+ exhibits, public programs, and in-house live-mollusk demonstrations, the museum has embarked on many collaborations with national and international educational and research institutions, and offers facilities in its collection and research area for visiting researchers, interns, and students. Resources are used by national and international professionals in the fields of environmental and marine sciences, biology, and ecology. The Museum also offers a formal field trip program for Lee County public school 4th-graders on a cost-sharing basis. The Museum has established strong ties with many public and private sector organizations, including the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization, Smithsonian Institution, American Malacological Society, Conchologists of America, Museu de Zoologia and Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil, Florida Museum of Natural History, Southwest Florida Library Network, Sanibel Public Library, The Sanibel School, Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce, Lee County’s Visitor and Convention Bureau and the Tourism and Development Council, and shell clubs throughout Florida. The museum's website includes database searches for both the museum and southwestern Florida. The museum runs programs to educate the public, such as guided beach walks with museum naturalists who identify shells and teach mollusk biology.[4] History[edit]

Institutional Discipline: 
Institutional Governance: 
Private, non-profit: General
Institution Type: 
Cool URI:

Institutional Mailing Address

Mailing Address 1: 
3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road
Postal/Zip Code: 


Project Collections


Institutional Contact Information

Primary Contact: 

José H. Leal, Ph.D.

Staff Member Information

Job Title: 
Science Director & Curator
Area of Responsibility: 
Collection curation and management; Research
Birth Year: 
Research Discipline: 
Biological Sciences: Taxonomy, Biological Sciences: Zoology, Ocean & Marine Sciences: Marine Biology & Biological Oceanography
Research Specialty: 

Staff Member Affiliations

Additional Affiliations: 
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • University of Miami

Staff Member's Contact Information

Phone Number: 
Fax Number: 
Address 1: 
3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road
Postal/Zip Code: 
  • Created: 27 October 2016 - 3:22pm EDT
  • Updated: 29 September 2017 - 1:12pm EDT
  • Created: 28 September 2017 - 2:21pm EDT
  • Updated: 29 September 2017 - 1:13pm EDT